Florida Rep. Michael Waltz (R) has penned an op-ed for Fox News, discussing the upcoming Beijing Olympics. The Florida Republican, taking issue with the International Olympic Committee, accused the committee of “hypocrisy,” arguing that “China will use Olympics to camouflage, distort and hide their oppressive authoritarian regime.
A day after being named the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Readiness on the House Armed Services Subcommittee, Waltz continues to raise concerns amidst calls from GOP lawmakers for the Olympics to be moved away from Beijing.
Florida Republicans like Senators Rick Scott (R), Marco Rubio (R), and countless others across the country have made calls for the Olympics to be moved away from Beijing because of the Chinese Communist Party’s regime. This includes the handling of Uyghur Muslims in the country, which has resulted in Senator Rubio drafting legislation called the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act.
“In less than a month, athletes from around the world will gather in Beijing for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games, giving the Chinese Communist Party a global platform of hundreds of millions of viewers,” writes Waltz in his Op-Ed, citing that the Olympics have been used for oppressive measures in the past and that this poses a threat to the independence of Taiwan.
“Adolf Hitler infamously used the 1936 Games as a springboard for his conquest across Europe and further worsened Nazi Germany’s genocidal efforts,” Waltz explained, adding that “Vladimir Putin used the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics as a launching pad for Russia’s invasion into Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula just a month after the Games.”
In turn, Waltz questioned, “will Taiwan’s independence be threatened next as China increases its military incursion over the democratic island?”
The International Olympic Committee argued that it was “strictly politically neutral at all times,” which is a response that disappointed Waltz, who argued that “this pretense of neutrality when it comes to the Chinese Communist Party’s atrocities and aggression is oddly ironic given the decades-long hard-line stand the IOC took against South Africa’s apartheid policies.”
In response, Waltz affirmed, “it’s now incumbent on fans to place pressure on the corporate sponsors of the IOC.”